Savannah Lee Creativity’s Charming Country Conservatory

A 96-square-foot rustic greenhouse made of recycled materials reflects builder, creator, and mother of three Savannah Walsh’s philosophy: Work with what you’ve got.

Photos courtesy of Savannah Walsh

It all started with a love of creating unique spaces. A wife and mother of three, Savannah Walsh (also known as Savannah Lee Creativity) was no longer satisfied by her career in health care and was seeking a new creative outlet. “In March of 2020, I felt a calling to go home and raise my kids,” she says. “Two weeks later, the whole world shut down—I knew it was a sign.” This new stay-at-home lifestyle helped in awakening passions she never had time for prior, encouraging her to build, decorate, and more. Most recently, she used her skills in custom renovation to create a rustic, yet refined 96-square-foot greenhouse in her backyard.

For the last four years, Walsh has been experimenting with gardening, embracing self-sufficiency by growing food for her and her family. While well-intentioned in theory, she quickly discovered that sharing her kitchen space with the indoor garden setup was not a long-term solution as the short spring and summer seasons (accompanied by undesirable humidity) often prove challenging for outdoor growing. All this in mind, she knew what she had to do—hence how the greenhouse concept came to fruition.

The vision for the space seemed to come to her all at once. “Having an eye for things is truly a gift that I don’t know how to explain,” she says. “It’s like magic.” As an avid collector of vintage, thrifted, and free furnishings and materials, she works by the notion, “you work with what you’ve got.” While driving through Wisconsin one day, she happened upon a curb of free windows—the perfect base for the greenhouse’s design. With the windows acting as inspiration, everything else followed suit: the main house’s old patio door was repurposed for the entry, exterior wood was upholstered from an old fence, and the checkered floor was artistically created with leftover paint.

Prior to building, each plan needed to be customized to the different window sizes. After everything was drawn up, her husband helped with the footing. By digging 4-foot holes and filling them with gravel and concrete, they secured the base of the structure. From there, she built up. Although Walsh is an advocate for recycling materials, she purchased green-treated lumber and clear concreted roofing to assist in bringing the full vision to life. In the interior, black-painted walls, hanging greenery, exposed wood shelving, and vintage furniture all lend to the barnhouse feel reflected in her Pinterest boards and outlines.

The building process was all the fun. As one of the bigger projects Walsh has completed, it took a lot more planning than she had previously been accustomed to. “Usually when I’m building something, I just piece it together as I go, but this one needed plans and measurements,” she explains. Anxious to see the full vision come together, the biggest challenge was patience. She says, “The [building] process is the biggest thing for me—it fuels my soul.”

With the help of her children, mother, and husband along the way, the project was a labor of love. She reminisces on a time when she was struggling to balance her family’s needs with her own, saying, “[With this project], I was filling my cup, and I didn’t even realize what I was teaching my kids along the way.” By keeping them involved in her construction and decorating projects, they have gained lifestyle skills and knowledge that are sure to assist them in the future.

A jack of all trades, Walsh also spearheads a multitude of other projects that fall under the collective brand “Country Coop.” The name started as the branding for a seasonal sale hosted in her shed. True to the cliché “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Walsh finds potential in everything. After diving deeper into her decorating hobbies, she found herself with lots of miscellaneous items she discovered or purchased, and the inventory quickly added up. Because of this fast accumulation, she created a space for people to gather and shop, all while granting her old belongings a new life—think garage sale, but elevated. At this seasonal sale, she stages the furniture and decorates the space to provide a gorgeous shopping experience for those in attendance. While she took a break this spring, she is hoping to put on another sale in a revamped space this fall.

Now also falling under the Country Coop name, her events center—established in April 2023—is located in the property’s old machine shed, a 5,000-square-foot space with a dance floor, bar, 14 round tables, and a spacious parking lot for guests. After hosting her own wedding reception there, she realized its potential for events of all varieties. The space is now available to book for weddings and other events of up to 450 people.

Her baking business falls under this rebrand as well. What started as a humble means to baking bread for her family has gained significant traction in the local community. She sells her sourdough starters and fresh-baked products, as well as hosts classes to teach the art of baking bread. With the launch of her new website, all various endeavors can be found in one place.

Through every different venture, Walsh finds peace among the organized chaos. Although it seems like a lot for one person, it’s the lifestyle she loves. The privilege of being able to stay home, care for her family, and practice her craft is a dream she never thought would come true. She says, “It’s truly been a beautiful adventure.”

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